Tsaryukyan achieved the highest profile victory of his professional mixed martial arts career in December when he defeated Damir Ismagulov via unanimous decision. Tsaryukyan has a record of 19-3 in his mixed martial arts career. Tsarukyan is now placed No. 8 in the official UFC standings, and it is very evident that he intends to displace Chandler from his position as No. 5 in the rankings.
On January 27, Tsarukyan turned to Twitter to criticize Chandler’s fighting IQ while also issuing a challenge to compete against him.
“Hey, @MikeChandlerMMA, it’s time to defend your rankings!” tweets Mike Chandler MMA. Tsarukyan wrote. “Lowest fight IQ in the division against new mma generation. I won’t see you at the top.”
The former UFC 155-pound championship challenger known as “Iron” has a wrestling background, but in his Octagon appearances, he has chosen to primarily hit rather than initiate grappling. This is one of the reasons why the aggressive Chandler is considered to be one of the most entertaining competitors in the promotion.
In four out of his five bouts in the UFC, he has been honored with either “Fight of the Night” or “Performance of the Night” accolades.
This week, when making an appearance on the “Believe You Me” podcast hosted by former UFC middleweight king Michael Bisping, Chandler was questioned about Tsarukyan’s statements. And to make a long story short, Chandler rejected Tsarukyan.
Iron’s top priority is fighting Conor McGregor in his comeback bout, and with the Irishman dropping hints that he’s taken a coaching gig on the next season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” Michael Chandler has stated that he hopes to face “Notorious” on the show.
“I didn’t respond, because — I mean — I haven’t even seen him fight,” Chandler said. “Not disrespecting or whatever.
“I know he fought (Mateusz) Gamrot,” he continued.
“I haven’t really seen Gamrot fight either. I appreciate the callout. That’s exactly what I would do if I was him. But, no thanks, man. I’m over here talking about Conor [McGregor] and [‘The Ultimate Fighter’]. You think I’m worried about freaking Arman Tsarukyan with a silent ‘T’ at the beginning of his name?”
Chandler continued by saying that it was a “good callout,” but he emphasized that “that’s not how you get a fight with me.”